85-1-610. Evaluation of grants and loans to private persons. The department shall consider the following criteria and preferences in evaluating applications and selecting the recipients of grants and loans for water-related projects that are eligible for funding under 85-1-609:
(1) The extent and desirability of the public benefits that will be provided must be considered.
(2) A water-related project that will be used as part of a family farm must be given preference. A family farm is one devoted primarily to agriculture under the ownership and operation of a resident Montana family.
(3) A water-related project that will utilize or develop water reserved under 85-2-316 must be given preference.
(4) The department, to the extent practicable, shall attempt to achieve geographic balance in the promotion of renewable resource grant and loan projects through the awarding of loans and grants to private persons.
(5) The extent to which the project will effectively utilize water resources and promote the conservation and efficient use of the water resource must be evaluated and considered.
(6) Projects that could not be accomplished without the assistance of a loan or grant must be given preference.
(7) The department shall give due consideration to any other factor that, in the department's judgment, is important to the evaluation of the project in light of the purposes, policies, and objectives of the renewable resource grant and loan program.